Hawke’s Bay Regional Council has voted to defer the collection of more than $400,000 in outstanding science charges from Water Holdings Hawke’s Bay until the end of the financial year.
In a meeting on Wednesday, Councillors voted five to four to defer full payment of the charges. The outstanding amount is $259,805 for the past two years and $157,860 for the 2022-2032 year.
Regional Council Chair, Rick Barker says the move will afford the entity sufficient time to resolve its outstanding issues.
“The consents are unusual and this is a unique issue which the Council has debated thoroughly. Water Holdings Hawke’s Bay have more time now to ensure it meets its obligations,” he said.
In the meantime, Council says staff will review the policy around the science fees – known as Section 36 charges.
Section 36 charges help pay for the water science and monitoring which enable the Council to make planning and consenting decisions of the region’s freshwater resources.
Water Holding Hawke’s Bay’s resource consents, were originally obtained by Council’s subsidiary Hawke’s Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC), for the Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme.